It came very naturally to Zoë and Gav to have a day that reflected their true personalities and to make choices that felt right to them. “I’ve never understood why girls who have never set foot in a national trust in their lives suddenly want to get married in a stately home,” said Zoë. “Maybe its just nice to be someone else, someone more fancy and regal for a day?”
Working in a banqueting department of a hotel as a teenager probably didn’t help with Zoë’s frame of reference for traditional weddings – seeing the same puffy dresses, Abba medleys and enough royal icing to survive a nuclear war week-in, week-out would be enough to make anyone ensure their own day was fiercely unique to them, a celebration of both of them as individuals, and their joint lives together.
Their ceremony was held at the bandstand in Myatts Field Park, London. Zoë and Gav spent seven years living right by the park and walked their dog in it every day, so it was a poignant place for them to say their vows. “I purposefully used a gate quite far from the bandstand so we’d have a really epic aisle to walk down,” continued Zoë. With both her mum and dad walking either side of her and her multicoloured bridesmaid and bridesman squad walking behind, they made quite the powerful entrance to their guests eagerly waiting at the bandstand!
“As all my squad are amazing, inspiring, independent women, I wanted their outfits to reflect their individual personalities, so I gave them a colour palette to work with and told them to pick out something they felt incredible in. We had a trouser suit, some ASOS dresses and jumpsuits and a long sold-out velvet jumpsuit scored on eBay. We got to do this epic stomp through the park to the bandstand and they all looked so amazing!” Zoë also did different flowers for them all too instead of bouquets – some had hair garlands, wrist corsages or lapels.
Kerry knew it was love when Nick took her Alpaca trekking as a date. They met on OK Cupid and bonded over a shared love of Moomins and both having siblings in Hong Kong, In fact they turned away completely from tradition, because, in Kerry’s words, “not to be cool but because we found it all a bit sick-in-your-mouth and cringeworthy.”
They cancelled plans for a huge wedding in Budapest and got married in secret at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, with just 12 guests present, and their two Chihuahuas as ‘dogsmaids’ instead of bridesmaids! They spent the night before, and morning of the wedding together, and walked down the aisle together. They ‘said yes to the dress’ together, Kerry didn’t do a ‘pre-wedding diet’ (“in fact, I ate and drank more in the run up!”), they had no cake cutting or planned speeches or first dance… and they didn’t invite the brides’ parents.
“I made the decision not to invite my parents to the wedding which caused a lot of upset and hurt but I decided not to do it just to ‘tick a box’,” explained Kerry. “While I love them dearly, I haven’t had the easiest of relationships with either of them and nor do they with each other. I didn’t want to bring drama to the day and families usually spell drama. It was the best decision I made because since that point, I have had more meaningful conversations with my mother than I’ve had in a decade, so sometimes it pays to make a difficult decision.”
With a gorgeous (but demanding) 15 month old daughter together, Jen and Pip needed their wedding to be relaxed, informal, and to fit in with their busy lives. With a £12,000 budget, they eschewed any traditions that didn’t suit them, and planned a day that was informal and fun for everyone.
They tied the knot at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton with close family and friends present, after travelling to the ceremony together in a black London cab. “To be honest, it was quite rough and ready,” laughed Jen, “which we didn’t really mind but it was quite funny! During the ceremony, the registrar rattled through the her script at such lightning speed, she didn’t pause for breath so our friend could read the poem he’d spent the a whole month preparing!”